Monday, August 24, 2009

Kindergarten woes

According to Yaya's teacher he is not adjusting so well to kindergarten. He is, according to her, fairly young compared to the rest of the class. His fifth birthday is September 17. The state's cutoff for kindergarten is October 15.

He apparently has trouble following directions, although not in a defiant way, it's just like he doesn't hear/doesn't process what he does hear. When the kids line up at the front of the room he doesn't follow the visual cue to go line up, too (after being told). She's also worried about his small motor skills because he supposedly can't open his lunch and he holds a crayon wrong.

I took him to the doctor on Friday and his feeling was that Yaya just needs time to adjust--at the time I made the appointment, school had been in session for three days and his teacher had had the conference with me that day. Everyone I've talked to says it's way too early to be saying that he isn't doing well in school; I've seen some places where people say their kids took until Christmas to get really adjusted. The doctor wants us to get his hearing and vision tested with specialists, but he said his eardrums look fine and he did pass their vision test with 20/20 vision in each eye. As for the small motor--Yaya has always been very very far ahead of his age with small and gross motor skills; I don't think that the first few days is really enough time to gauge his skills. For his lunch thing, the first day he had a container he couldn't open, so he didn't eat it. B and I told him to ask for help if he needed it after that, and I think that he's been asking for help every day whether or not he needs it.

When B took Yaya to school this morning one of his classmates asked him if he was going to behave today. That just makes me want to cry. My fear ever since the teacher called me with her concerns has been that Yaya is going to be stigmatized. I don't know if this kid is saying this on his own or taking cues from someone else or what. I don't think he said it maliciously, but I hate the fact that he said it at all.

DH and I have talked about our options. Mr. Man goes to ECSE at another, much smaller elementary school; we've talked about transferring Yaya there. We've talked about sending him to preschool for a year since he never went, but I very seriously doubt we could afford it if it's not in the public school system, and there aren't many of those. The doctor said that some people that have kids with birthdays in that September-October gray area choose to send them to kindergarten for two years, which we could do, sending him to his brother's school next year. My worries with these options are: 1) he pretty much knows the kindergarten curriculum so I don't think it's doing him any favors to hold him back--I wanted him to go to kindergarten mostly to learn how to act in social situations and to follow a structured schedule, and 2) if we send him to preschool he is going to stick out like a sore thumb. He's one of the tallest, if not the tallest, kids in his class now. I can't even imagine what he'd look like in a preschool class.

I'd like to give him some time to adjust, but at the same time if we're going to move him or put him into a different grade I'd like to get it done as soon as possible. I'm just at a loss here.

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